Sunday, September 22, 2013

Black Dyke Band - "How Great Thou Art"

Classical music is alive and well, outside of the Symphony Hall.  One of the best examples of this is the U.K.'s Black Dyke Band, which dates back to 1816 (!), sponsored by John Foster, owner of the Black Dyke Woolen Mill in Yorkshire.  Foster was a French Horn player as well as an Industrial Revolution entrepreneur, and so sponsored the band.

They're still playing, and winning awards as you see in this video (likely shot with a hand held camcorder):

Readers from the UK may recognize the band as the ones providing the music for the late, great, and much lamented (no longer filmed) Ground Force television show from the BBC.  Every Englishman sees in himself a bit of the Country Squire, and Ground Force set out to make him into precisely that.  Family or friends would connive to get the person away from the house for two days.  During that time, the Ground Force team would swoop down and spend £1000 and two days labor to transform the yard into an amazing later day Zanadu,  It was marvelous television if you like gardening, home improvement and seeing things that you could plausibly do to your own place.

But back to the music, which was provided by the Black Dyke Band.  The music was outstanding, and has made the band famous beyond the borders of Yorkshire.  A hint of what Ground Force (and its music) is here, but only if you click through, because the BBC thinks you suck and hates you (none of this is available for embedding).  I recommend that you actually click through - even though Auntie Beeb sucks and doesn't Get It - because if you've never seen Ground Force, you're in for a treat.  I particularly remember loving the Portmellon garden (the last one at the link) because it made a spectacular seaside garden.  The music was particularly fetching on this one.

The music is worth paying attention to, as it's uniformly and outstandingly matched to the show.  As far as I recall, all the music for the show was provided by the Black Dyke Bank.  They also did the music for the Top Gear spoof of Ground Force, which is well worth watching while you're waking up with a Sunday morning cup of coffee.  Removing unwanted plants with a shotgun, indeed.

"Will it grow by 5:00 this evening?"  Heh.  And there's a cameo of the band in this one:

The music in this one is spot on as far as Ground Force is concerned.  And "You can't prune a tree with a shotgun."  "Oh yes I can."

The way they hide from the owner when he returns to the disaster area is perfect to the original Ground Force.  This post may be a bit odd for long time readers, but you know that "odd" sort of runs with the territory here I hope.


libertyman said...

Nice intro to the Black Dyke Band -- off to for a disk.

Always a pleasure on a Sunday to see what's what musically.

On the way back from Maine, by the way I heard a Stan Rogers tune I had never heard before. Do you know his music?

Borepatch said...

libertyman, only passingly (i.e. I recognize the name but that's it).

libertyman said...

Schooner Fare did a few of his songs. "Barrett's Privateer's, and "The MaryEllen Carter". He had a fabulous voice and wrote some great songs.

Give him a listen.